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04-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Is the K-01 too big? Possible solution...

This is purely a theoretical discussion, I very much doubt Pentax would put my idea into practice. I'm mostly curious to see if it's possible.

Anyway, since the K-01 uses the standard K mount, it has enough space between the mount flange and the sensor for a mirror (i.e. the register distance is the same as it's been since 1975). But a lot of this space is unused and just adds bulk to the camera. Whether this is a problem for any particular person is up to them. But given that MILCs are generally intended to be more compact than DSLRs, would it not be better to reduce the size of the thing?

But if you simply reduced the register distance by, say, 10mm, you'd be unable to focus on anything closer than about 500 yards. Fine for landscapes and BIF, but not much else.

The solution is in two parts: firstly, take the MILC-specific lenses you're already making (e.g. XS40mm) and design them to focus properly on the shorter register distance. Lo and behold, a very compact, APS-C, K-mount MILC. And secondly, make (or use an existing) 10mm extension tube, so that all standard K-mount lenses will focus as normal. Obviously you'd need all your contacts for data, SDM, aperture etc and an AF screw, so it wouldn't be that cheap. True you'd be adding bulk and weight, but not much and only if you use standard K lenses.

The only drawbacks I can see are the added expense of the extension tube - although you could use a cheaper manual one of course - and the incompatibility of the XS lenses on standard K-mount cameras - although they'd probably make great budget macro lenses.

I didn't intend this to be a discussion on the size of the K-01 per se, but it might well turn into one. But in practical terms, would this actually work, and more importantly, would you buy it (assuming the only additional cost was the extension tube, approx $80 US)?


Last edited by Joe Nation; 04-26-2012 at 01:30 AM.
04-26-2012, 02:12 AM   #2
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When you've a camera and 2 or 3 lenses you will notice that the lenses are taking up the most room, so those 2 centimeter you're saving with a smaller body is nothing.
Besides if you want to go small there is the Q, small camera + small lenses
04-26-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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Potential for specialized wide angle lenses

The only real advantage to occupying the camera box area is that quality wide angle lenses can be designed more economically by reducing the flange distance. It would not surprise me to see one or two wide angle lenses that locates the rear element within the mirror box area on the K-01 and any future mirrorless K-mounts; but useless for other bodies. It is apparent, though, that Pentax-Ricoh is waiting to see if the K-01 can be competitive in the mirrorless segment. Early returns are not promising.

With very little invested (little in the way of technological advancement), the K-01 could be a one and done production model. I like the camera, and it happens to fit my needs, but the market could very easily turn it into a novelty offering.

JNR
04-26-2012, 07:35 AM   #4
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While I'd like a smaller K-01, I probably wouldn't have bought one if it needed an adapter. I already have a Pen and use a cheap manual adapter for my older Pentax lenses. While that works okay, I really wanted native compatibility with K-mount lenses and no adapter. My solution has been to use the DA Limited primes, which makes it a smaller kit.

Of course, your approach could work. I'm sure there's a group of people that would buy it. I'm not sure I'm one of them, though.

04-26-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
While I'd like a smaller K-01, I probably wouldn't have bought one if it needed an adapter. While that works okay, I really wanted native compatibility with K-mount lenses and no adapter. My solution has been to use the DA Limited primes, which makes it a smaller kit.
+1 on this fro me. You either create a new camera system (and leave K-mount for this mirrorless, stand-alone mini K-mount) or you join in on another system (m4/3th or E-mount) or you stick with fully functional K-mount. All three can work and choosing K-01 with K-mount would be the only camera I would (and still waiting for) buy.
04-26-2012, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
The only real advantage to occupying the camera box area is that quality wide angle lenses can be designed more economically by reducing the flange distance.
up to a point.
digital sensor needs to have the light hit the sensor so straight as possible.
Just look at the NEX lens tests, only the tele lenses have decent corner sharpness with the wide angle lenses the angle of the light becomes to great.
04-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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Up to a point

QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
digital sensor needs to have the light hit the sensor so straight as possible.
Just look at the NEX lens tests, only the tele lenses have decent corner sharpness with the wide angle lenses the angle of the light becomes to great.
Believe me, that is my thought as well - and I think the tests show that. Much of vignetting we see in digital shooting does not appear on film due to the angle of acceptance.

I made your same argument on the other forum, and got directed to some fairly persuasive technical arguments in detailed articles that indicate a shorter rear objective distance makes for a better potential design for wide angle lenses. Certainly when you look at what Leica has done with its wide angle lenses for their rangefinder cameras its hard to argue against. I am not sure that the other manufacturers have come close to what Leica has accomplished in this regard.

JNR
04-26-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joe Nation Quote
But given that MILCs are generally intended to be more compact than DSLRs, would it not be better to reduce the size of the thing?
I'm not convinced you are starting from a valid hypothesis. I don't beleive the K-01 is too thick. I have an XA but it is a snapshot camera - the K-01 is a real camera for real lenses, unlike the tiny, unserious expensive mirrorless cameras that are all the rage these days. (OK - a bit hyperbolic, but you get my point).

04-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Outside Magazine lists the PENTAX K-01 in their Summer 2012 buyer's guide.
Outside rated the K-01 as the most intuitive camera that they tested.
Check the size of the D4 beast... jeeez
04-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
up to a point.
digital sensor needs to have the light hit the sensor so straight as possible.
Just look at the NEX lens tests, only the tele lenses have decent corner sharpness with the wide angle lenses the angle of the light becomes to great.

Check Sony R1's zoom lens at 24mm (35 Eq). The lens sits just 1 - 2 mm away from sensor and at 24mm it is one of the best lenses.

And this camera is from year 2005, we have come long way since.
04-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Too big for what ? Putting in your pocket... Yes... shooting with a normal size lens... No. It all depend what your perspective and needs are.
04-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joe Nation Quote
But in practical terms, would this actually work, and more importantly, would you buy it (assuming the only additional cost was the extension tube, approx $80 US)?
This is the "micro-K mount" solution. Of course this would work - this is what Olympus did with their FT mount. Some people like it, other are revulsed by it, because they understand it would mean the death of the classical K mount (the FT mount is dead too today) as well as the death of Pentax SLRs and OVFs. Can't stop the future though.

A lot of people would buy it if Pentax would do a good job with it. Besides the advantages in size and in enabling the design of more compact wide angles, it would open the way to using a bunch of other lenses that today cannot be adapted to K mount.
04-27-2012, 02:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
up to a point.
digital sensor needs to have the light hit the sensor so straight as possible.
Just look at the NEX lens tests, only the tele lenses have decent corner sharpness with the wide angle lenses the angle of the light becomes to great.
Well that's a good enough reason not to do it I guess. If the manufacturer isn't after top-notch image quality, why bother with a full-size mount and legacy lenses (hence why they made the Q). And since the K-01 is a 'proper' camera for 'proper' lenses, it makes sense to give it the best chance of taking decent pictures. I wouldn't be surprised if Pentax R&D rejected the idea for this reason (assuming they actually considered it).

And as rfortson said, being forced to buy an adaptor is a turn-off for most people.

I guess at the end of the day if you want a small MILC, get a Q or an NEX. If you want a really small camera get a compact. If you want best image quality, get a DSLR. If you want a half-decent compromise between size and image quality, get a K-01.

And for the record, I really like the K-01 as it is and I hope they don't drop it too soon.
04-27-2012, 02:53 AM   #14
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I really like the K-01. I'm using it more than my K-5 at the moment.
It is big enough to be easy to handle, and small and blocky enough to slip in and out of a small camera bag (or even a big pocket) with ease.
PLUS it takes all my awesome, compact limited prime lenses without an adaptor. Bliss!
04-27-2012, 03:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Believe me, that is my thought as well - and I think the tests show that. Much of vignetting we see in digital shooting does not appear on film due to the angle of acceptance.

I made your same argument on the other forum, and got directed to some fairly persuasive technical arguments in detailed articles that indicate a shorter rear objective distance makes for a better potential design for wide angle lenses. Certainly when you look at what Leica has done with its wide angle lenses for their rangefinder cameras its hard to argue against. I am not sure that the other manufacturers have come close to what Leica has accomplished in this regard.

JNR
Ricoh solved the problem quite well with the M-mount module, maybe the same micro lens filter might do the trick.

But i think they should keep the "standard" lens focal length as the register distance.
So for APS-C 28~30mm looks like a nice compromise.

But that 1 cm of difference won't do you any good in making the camera more compact though, it just make the lenses potentially better.
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